Disclaimer: Harry Potter and his world all belong to J.K.Rowling. I’m just grateful she lets me play in it from time to time.
‘Hi, Angela! Seen Evans lately?’ James called
across the Gryffindor common room to the knot of seventh-year girls
working in the corner. Angela looked up and shook her head.
‘I thought she was with you. We were supposed to go through our Transfiguration after lunch but she disappeared.’
James frowned. ‘She’s not up in your dorm?’
Mary chipped in. ‘I saw her heading towards the practice rooms an hour ago.’
He levered himself out of the sofa, casually dropping the ice cube out
of his glass down Sirius’s neck on his way to the portrait hole and
smiling as he heard the yelps behind him.
Lily wasn’t in any
of the practice rooms. He wandered back towards the library,
wondering whether she might have gone to get some quiet hours in.
There was no sign of her and he was starting to get anxious.
Potter!’ Stella Midgeon, a pretty fourth year from Hufflepuff
whom James had been out with a couple of times, called up the stairs.
‘Hallo, Star. You haven’t seen Lily Evans anywhere, have you?’
‘Under the bridge. Crying,’ panted Stella who he now noticed was bright red and out of breath.
‘Thought I’d better find you. I’ve been looking all over.’
‘Right. Thanks,’ James called over his shoulder as he bounded down the stairs three at a time.
was curled up into a ball, half-hidden under the timbers of the crooked
bridge. He heard her sobs long before he could see the tears
dripping down her face.
‘Oh, darling,’ he cried, gathering her
into his arms. ‘Hey, shhh. Hey, it’s all right.
I’m here now.’ He rocked her gently like a child, stroking her
hair and murmuring soothing noises into her ear. Gradually the
sobbing ceased and she began to breathe more deeply.
girl. That’s better.’ But the tears were still coming as
fast as he could wipe them away. ‘Oh, sweetheart, what is
it? What on earth’s happened?’
Mutely, Lily held out a crumpled, damp letter.
‘You want me to read it?’ James checked, but Lily nodded, holding his handkerchief to cover most of her face.
James skimmed the letter. From Lily’s father, it announced baldly
that Lily’s mother had been killed. ‘By one of your sort.’
James winced. Then his expression turned to one of absolute
horror as he read that Lily was no longer welcome at her home.
Her father wanted no more to do with her or ‘any of that kind.’
He was moving house with his other daughter, Petunia, and Lily was not
to attempt to follow him.
‘Oh, sweetheart, come here.’ He pulled her close against him. ‘You poor darling.’
sat, clinging to each other, for what seemed like hours. James
felt utterly powerless to help the person he would have willingly given
his life for. Lily was growing numb with the hopelessness of it
all. Eventually it began to grow dark and James realised that
Lily was no longer shivering from her tears but from cold.
‘Come on, we can’t stay here all night.’
‘I can’t,’ she murmured.
all right. I’m going to take you up to the hospital wing.
You won’t have to see anyone.’ He reached down and lifted her
easily into his arms. She pointed frantically to a small
cardboard box James hadn’t noticed earlier.
‘What is it?’
She curled closer into him and whispered. ‘It’s… it’s from Mum.’
Feverfew took one look at Lily and began to cluck like a mother
hen. She tucked her up in bed and brought her a delicious mug of
hot chocolate. James sat on a wooden chair by Lily’s bed and
tried to make himself as unobtrusive as possible. Eventually,
they were left alone for a few minutes.
‘Here,’ James handed her the box. ‘Shall I leave it in the locker?’
put her mug down and opened the box. For several minutes, she
stared silently at its contents, then pushed the box across the bed so
that James could see.
‘A wand?’ James raised an eyebrow. ‘But…’
Lily’s face crumpled. ‘She wasn’t a Muggle, James. She… she was a Turntail.’
struggled not to show the shock he felt. Witches and wizards who
chose to abandon their magic and live as Muggles were rare and
generally despised by the community they’d turned their back on.
‘Did you know?’
Lily nodded. ‘When the letter came for
Hogwarts. She told me that it was her old school. But when
she met Dad, he asked her to marry him but only if she would promise
never…’ Her voice faded.
‘But he let you come here?’
I don’t know how Mum persuaded him. There were the most terrible
rows. I felt awful. But she insisted.’
‘I see. And so now…’ He paused, wondering how to describe the actions of Lily’s father.
‘Yes. He blames me for what happened to her. Just because he thinks all wizards and witches are the same.’
‘You poor darling.’ James squeezed her hand.
He looked back to the box. There was a piece of parchment and a key.
to Mum’s vault at Gringotts. She couldn’t use it when she was
married so she always said it would be mine. At least Dad
remembered that. I won’t be quite out on the streets when I leave
school.’ She attempted a smile and James leaned forward to kiss
her lightly on the lips.
‘You’ll never be that. I’m
taking you to meet my parents at Easter. And when we leave school
we’ll get married and have our own home. Our own family.’
She looked up at him, troubled and shaken.
okay. We don’t have to talk about it now. But please don’t
worry about the future, darling. Not now. Look, Madam
Feverfew’s coming back. I’d better go.’ He kissed her
cheek. ‘Goodnight, Evans.’